The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1799.
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OR, as it is as frequently written, Elham, lies the next parish south-eastward from Stelling. It was written in the time of the Saxons both Uleham and Æiham, in Domesday, Albam. Philipott says, it was antiently written Helham, denoting the situation of it to be a valley among the hills, whilst others suppose, but with little probability, that it took its name from the quantity of eels which the Nailbourn throws out when it begins to run. There are Seven boroughsin it, of Bladbean, Boyke, Canterwood, Lyminge, Eleham, Town, Sibton, and Hurst.
Eleham is said to be the largest parish in the eastern parts of this county, extending itself in length from north to south, through the Nailbourn valley, about three miles and an half; and in breadth five miles and a half, that is, from part of Stelling-minnis, within the bounds of it, across the valley to Eleham down and Winteridge, and the southern part of Swinfield-minnis, almost up to Hairn-forstal, in Uphill Folkestone. The village, or town of Eleham, as it is usually called, is situated in the above-mentioned valley, rather on a rise, on the side of the stream. It is both healthy and pleasant, the houses in it being mostly modern and wellbuilt, of brick and fashed. As an instance of the healthiness of this parish, there have been within these few years several inhabitants of it buried here, of the ages of 95, 97, and 99, and one of 105; the age of 40 years being esteemed that of a young person, in this parish. The church, with the vicarage on the side of the church-yard, is situated on the eastern side of it, and the court lodge at a small distance from it. This is now no more than a small mean cottage, thatched, of, I believe, only two rooms on a floor, and unsit for habitation. It appears to be the remains of a much larger edifice, and is built of quarry-stone, with small arched gothic windows and doors, the frames of which are of ashlar stone, and seemingly very antient indeed. It is still accounted a market-town, the market having been obtained to it by prince Edward, afterwards king Edward I. in his father's life-time, anno 35 Henry III. to be held on a Monday weekly, which, though disused for a regular constancy, is held in the market-house here once in five or six years, to keep up the claim to the right of it; besides which there are three markets regularly held, for the buying and selling of cattle, in every year, on Palm, Easter, and Whit Mondays, and one fair on Oct. 20th, by the alteration of the stile, being formerly held on the day of St. Dionis, Oct. 9, for toys and pedlary. The Nailbourn, as has been already mentioned before, in the description of Liminage, runs along this valley northward, entering this parish southward, by the hamlet of Ottinge, and running thence by the town of Eleham, and at half a mile's distance, by the hamlet of North Eleham, where there are several deep ponds, in which are from time to time quantities of eels, and so on to Brompton's Pot and Wingmere, at the northern extremity of this parish. The soil in the valley is mostly an unfertile red earth, mixed with many flints; but the hills on each side of it, which are very frequent and steep, extend to a wild romantic country, with frequent woods and uninclosed downs, where the soil consists mostly of chalk, excepting towards Stelling and Swinfield minnis's, where it partakes of a like quality to that of the valley, tance,by the hamlet of North Eleham, where there only still more poor and barren. At the north-west corner of the parish, on the hill, is Eleham park, being a large wood, belonging to the lord of Eleham manor.
Dr. Plot says, he was informed, that there was the custom of borough English prevailing over some copyhold lands in this parish, the general usage of which is, that the youngest son should inherit all the lands and tenements which his father had within the borough, &c. but I cannot find any here subject to it. On the contrary, the custom here is, to give the whole estate to the eldest son, who pays to the younger ones their proportions of it, as valued by the homage of the manor, in money.
In Honinberg hundred, the bishop of Baieux holds in demesne Alham. It was taxed at six sulins. The arable land is twenty-four carucates. In demesne there are five carucates and forty-one villeins, with eight borderers having eighteen carucates. There is a church, and eight servants, and two mills of six shillings, and twenty eight acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of one hundred hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth thirty pounds, now forty, and yet it yields fifty pounds. Ederic held this manor of king Edward.
Four years after the bishop was disgraced, and all his possessions were consiscated to the crown, whence this manor seems to have been granted to William de Albineto, or Albini, surnamed Pincerna, who had followed the Conqueror from Normandy in his expedition hither. He was succeeded by his son, of the same name, who was made Earl of Arundel anno 15 king Stephen, and Alida his daughter carried it in marriage to John, earl of Ewe, in Normandy, whose eldest son Henry, earl of Ewe, was slain at the siege of Ptolemais in 1217, leaving Alice his sole daughter and heir, who entitled her husband Ralph D'Issondon to the possession of this manor, as well as to the title of earl of Ewe. She died in the reign of king Henry III. possessed of this manor, with the advowson of the church, and sealed with Barry, a label of six points, as appears by a deed in the Surrenden library; after which it appears to have come into the possession of prince Edward, the king's eldest son, who in the 35th year of it obtained the grant of a market on a Monday, and a fair, at this manor, (fn. 1) and afterwards, in the 41st year of that reign, alienated it to archbishop Boniface, who, left he should still further inflame that enmity which this nation had conceived against him, among other foreigners and aliens, by thus increasing his possessions in it, passed this manor away to Roger de Leyborne, who died possessed of it in the 56th year of that reign, at which time it appears that there was a park here; (fn. 2) and in his name it continued till Juliana de Leyborne, daughter of Thomas, became the sole heir of their possessions, from the greatness of which she was usually called the Infanta of Kent. She was thrice married, yet she had no issue by either of her husbands, all of whom she survived, and died in the 41st year of king Edward III. upon which this manor, among the rest of her estates, escheated to the crown, there being no one who could make claim to them, by direct or even by collateral alliance. (fn. 3) Afterwards it continued in the crown till king Richard II. vested it in feoffees in trust, towards the endowment of St. Stephen's chapel, in his palace of Westminster, which he had in his 22d year, completed and made collegiate, and had the year before granted to the dean and canons this manor, among others, in mortmain. (fn. 4) All which was confirmed by king Henry IV. and VI. and by king Edward IV. in their first years; the latter of whom, in his 9th year, granted to them a fair in this parish yearly, on the Monday after Palm-Sunday, and on the Wednesday following, with all liberties, &c. In which situation it continued till the 1st year of king Edward VI. when this college was, with all its possessions, surrendered into the king's hands, where this manor did not continue long; for the king in his 5th year, granted it to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, and he reconveyed it to the crown the same year. After which the king demised it, for the term of eighty years, to Sir Edward Wotton, one of his privy council, whose son Thomas Wotton, esq. sold his interest in it to Alexander Hamon, esq. of Acrise, who died in 1613, leaving two daughters his coheirs, the youngest of whom Catherine, married to Sir Robert Lewknor, entitled him to it; he was at his death succeeded by his son Hamon Lewknor, esq. but the reversion in see having been purchased of the crown some few years before the expiration of the above-mentioned term, which ended the last year of king James I.'s reign, to Sir Charles Herbert, master of the revels. He at the latter end of king Charles I.'s reign, alienated it to Mr. John Aelst, merchant, of London; after which, I find by the court rolls, that it was vested in Thomas Alderne, John Fisher, and Roger Jackson, esqrs. who in the year 1681 conveyed it to Sir John Williams, whose daughter and sole heir Penelope carried it in marriage to Thomas Symonds, esq. of Herefordshire, by the heirs of whose only surviving son Thomas Symonds Powell, esq. of Pengethley, in that county, it has been lately sold to Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. who is now entitled to it.
A court leet and court baron is held for this manor, which is very extensive. There is much copyhold land held of it. The demesnes of it are tithe-free. There is a yearly rent charge, payable for ever out of it, of 87l. 13s. 1d. to the ironmongers company, in London.
Shottlesfield is a manor, situated at the southeast boundary of this parish, the house standing partly in Liminge, at a small distance southward from the street or hamlet of the same name. It was, as early as the reign of king Edward II. the inheritance of a family called le Grubbe, some of whom had afterwards possessions about Yalding and Eythorne. Thomas le Grubbe was possessed of it in the 3d year of that reign, and wrote himself of Shottlesfeld, and from him it continued down by paternal descent to John Grubbe, who in the 2d year of king Richard III. conveyed it by sale to Thomas Brockman, of Liminge, (fn. 5) whose grandson Henry Brockman, in the 1st year of queen Mary, alienated it to George Fogge, esq. of Braborne, and he, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, sold it to Bing, who, before the end of that reign, passed it away to Mr. John Masters, of Sandwich, from whom it descended to Sir Edward Masters, of Canterbury, who at his decease, soon after the death of Charles I. gave it to his second son, then LL. D. from whose heirs it was alienated to Hetherington, whose last surviving son the Rev. William Hetherington, of North Cray place, died possessed of it unmarried in 1778, and by will devised it, among his other estates, to Thomas Coventry, esq. of London, who lately died possessed of it s. p. and the trustees of his will are now entitled to it.
The manor of Bowick, now called Boyke, is situated likewise in the eastern part of this parish, in the borough of its own name, which was in very antient times the residence of the Lads, who in several of their old evidences were written De Lad, by which name there is an antient farm, once reputed a manor, still known, as it has been for many ages before, in the adjoining parish of Acrise, which till the reign of queen Elizabeth, was in the tenure of this family. It is certain that they were resident here at Bowick in the beginning of king Henry VI.'s reign, and in the next of Edward IV. as appears by the registers of their wills in the office at Canterbury, they constantly stiled themselves of Eleham. Thomas Lade, of Bowick, died possessed of it in 1515, as did his descendant Vincent Lade in 1563, anno 6 Elizabeth. Soon after which it passed by purchase into the name of Nethersole, from whence it quickly afterwards was alienated to Aucher, and thence again to Wroth, who at the latter end of king Charles I.'s reign sold it to Elgar; whence, after some intermission, it was sold to Thomas Scott, esq. of Liminge, whose daughter and coheir Elizabeth, married to William Turner, esq. of the Friars, in Canterbury, at length, in her right, became possessed of it; his only surviving daughter and heir Bridget married David Papillon, esq. of Acrise, and entitled him to this manor, and his grandson Thomas Papillon, esq. of Acrise, is the present owner of it.
Mount and Bladbean are two manors, situated on the hills, on the opposite sides of this parish, the former near the eastern, and the latter near the western boundaries of it; the latter being antiently called Bladbean, alias Jacobs-court, a name now quite forgotten. Both these manors appear to have been in the reign of the Conqueror, part of the possessions of Anschitillus de Ros, who is mentioned in Domesday as holding much land in the western part of this county, their principal manor there being that of Horton, near Farningham. One of this family made a grant of it to the Cosentons, of Cosenton, in Aylesford, to hold of their barony of Ros, as of their manor of Horton before-mentioned, by knight's service. In the 7th year of Edward III. Sir Stephen de Cosenton obtained a charter of freewarren for his lands here. He was the son of Sir William de Cosenton, sheriff anno 35 Edward I. and was sometimes written of Cosenton, and sometimes of Mount, in Eleham. At length his descendant dying in the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, without male issue, his three daughters, married to Duke, Wood, and Alexander Hamon, esq. became his coheirs, and shared a large inheritance between them, and upon their division of it, the manor of Bladbean, alias Jacobs-court, was allotted to Wood, and Mount to Alexander Hamon.
The manor of Bladbean, alias Jacobs-court, was afterwards alienated by the heirs of Wood to Thomas Stoughton, esq. of St. Martin's, near Canterbury, who by will in 1591 (fn. 6) gave this manor, with its rents and services, to Elizabeth his daughter and coheir, married to Thomas Wilde, esq. of St. Martin's, whose grandson Colonel Dudley Wilde, at his death in 1653, s. p. devised it to his widow, from whom it went by sale to Hills, and Mr. James Hills, in 1683, passed it away to Mr. Daniel Woollet, whose children divided this estate among them; a few years after which John Brice became, by purchase of it at different times, possessed of the whole of it, which he in 1729 conveyed by sale to Mr. Valentine Sayer, of Sandwich, who died possessed of it in 1766, and the heirs of his eldest son Mr. George Sayer, of Sandwich, are now entitled to it.
The manor of Mount, now called Mount court, which was allotted as above-mentioned, to Alexander Hamon, continued down to his grandson, of the same name, who died possessed of it in 1613, leaving two daughters his coheirs, the youngest of whom, Catherine, entitled her husband Sir Robert Lewknor, to it, in whose descendants it continued till Robert Lewknor, esq. his grandson, in 1666, alienated it, with other lands in this parish, to Thomas Papillon, esq. of Lubenham, in Leicestershire, whose descendant Thomas Papillon, esq. of Acrise, is the present proprietor of it.
Ladwood is another manor in this parish, lying at the eastern boundary of it, likewise on the hills next to Acrise. It was written in old evidences Ladswood, whence it may with probability be conjectured, that before its being converted into a farm of arable land, and the erecting of a habitation here, it was a wood belonging to the family of Lad, resident at Bowick; but since the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, it continued uninterrupted in the family of Rolse till the reign of king Charles II. soon after which it was alienated to Williams, in which name it remained till Penelope, daughter of Sir John Williams, carried it in marriage to Thomas Symonds, esq. the heirs of whose only surviving son Thomas Symonds Powell, esq. sold it to David Papillon, esq. whose son Thomas Papillon, esq. now possesses it.
The manor of Canterwood, as appears by an old manuscript, seemingly of the time of Henry VIII. was formerly the estate of Thomas de Garwinton, of Welle, lying in the eastern part of the parish, and who lived in the reigns of Edward II. and III. whose greatgrandson William Garwinton, dying s. p. Joane his kinswoman, married to Richard Haut, was, in the 9th year of king Henry IV. found to be his heir, not only in this manor, but much other land in these parts, and their son Richard Haut having an only daughter and heir Margery, she carried this manor in marriage to William Isaak. After which, as appears from the court-rolls, which do not reach very high, that the family of Hales became possessed of it, in which it staid till the end of queen Elizabeth's reign, when it went by sale to Manwood, from which name it was alienated to Sir Robert Lewknor, whose grandson Robert Lewknor, esq. in 1666 sold it, with other lands in this parish already mentioned, to Thomas Papillon, esq. of Lu benham, in Leicestershire, whose descendant Thomas Papillon, esq. of Acrise, is the present owner of it.
Oxroad, now usually called Ostrude, is a manor, situated a little distance eastward from North Eleham. It had antiently owners of the same name; Andrew de Oxroad held it of the countess of Ewe, in the reign of king Edward I. by knight's service, as appears by the book of them in the king's remembrancer's office. In the 20th year of king Edward III. John, son of Simon atte Welle, held it of the earl of Ewe by the like service. After which the Hencles became possessed of it, from the reign of king Henry IV. to that of king Henry VIII. when Isabel, daughter of Tho. Hencle, marrying John Beane, entitled him to it, and in his descendants it continued till king Charles I.'s reign, when it was alienated to Mr. Daniel Shatterden, gent. of this parish, descended from those of Shatterden, in Great Chart, which place they had possessed for many generations. At length, after this manor had continued for some time in his descendants, it was sold to Adams, in which name it remained till the heirs of Randall Adams passed it away by sale to Papillon, in whose family it still continues, being now the property of Thomas Papillon, esq. of Acrise.
Hall, alias Wingmere, is a manor, situated in the valley at the northern boundary of this parish, next to Barham, in which some part of the demesne lands of it lie. It is held of the manor of Eleham, and had most probably once owners of the name of Wigmere, as it was originally spelt, of which name there was a family in East Kent, and in several antient evidences there is mention made of William de Wigmere and others of this name. However this be, the family of Brent appear to have been for several generations possessed of this manor, and continued so till Thomas Brent, of Wilsborough, dying in 1612,s. p. it passed into the family of Dering, of Surrenden; for in king James I.'s reign Edward Dering, gent. of Egerton, eldest son of John, the fourth son of John Dering, esq, of Surren den, who had married Thomas Brent's sister, was become possessed of it; and his only son and heir Thomas Dering, gent. in 1649, alienated it to William Codd, gent. (fn. 7) of Watringbury, who was succeeded in it by his son James Codd, esq. of Watringbury, who died s. p. in 1708, being then sheriff of this county, and being possessed at his death of this manor in fee, in gavelkind; upon which it came to the representatives of his two aunts, Jane, the wife of Boys Ore, and Anne, of Robert Wood, and they, in 1715, by fine levied, entitled Thomas Manley, and Elizabeth, his wife, to the possession of this manor for their lives, and afterwards to them in fee, in separate moieties. He died s. p. in 1716, and by will gave his moiety to John Pollard; on whose death s. p. it came, by the limitation in the above will, to Joshua Monger, whose only daughter and heir Rachael carried it in marriage to her husband Arthur Pryor, and they in 1750 joined in the sale of it to Mr. Richard Halford, gent. of Canterbury. The other moiety of this manor seems to have been devised by Elizabeth Manley above-mentioned, at her death, to her nephew Thomas Kirkby, whose sons Thomas, John, and Manley Kirkby, joined, in the above year, in the conveyance of it to Mr. Richard Halford above-mentioned, who then became possessed of the whole of it. He was third son of Richard Halford, clerk, rector of the adjoining parish of Liminge, descended from the Halfords, of Warwickshire, as appears by his will in the Prerogative-office, Canterbury, by which he devised to his several sons successively in tail, the estate in Warwickshire, which he was entitled to by the will of his kinsman William Halford, gent, of that county. They bear for their arms, Argent, a greybound passant, sable, on a chief of the second, three fleurs de lis, or. He died possessed of it in 1766, leaving by Mary his wife, daughter of Mr. Christopher Creed, of Canterbury, one son Richard Halford, gent. now of Canterbury; and two daughters, Mary married to Mr. John Peirce, surgeon, of Canterbury; and Sarah. In 1794, Mr. Peirce purchased the shares of Mr. Richard and Mrs. Sarah Halford, and he is now the present owner of this manor. He bears for his arms, Azure field, wavy bend, or, two unicorns heads, proper.
The manor OF Clavertigh is situated on the hills at the north-west boundary of this parish, next to Liminge, which antiently belonged to the abbey of Bradsole, or St. Radigund, near Dover, and it continued among the possessions of it till the 27th year of king Henry VIII. when by the act then passed, it was suppressed, as not having the clear yearly revenue of two hundred pounds, and was surrendered into the king's hands, who in his 29th year, granted the scite of this priory, with all its lands and possessions, among which this manor was included, with certain exceptions, however, mentioned in it, to archbishop Cranmer, who in the 38th year of that reign, conveyed this manor of Clavertigh, with lands called Monkenlands, late belonging to the same priory in this parish, back again to the king, who that same year granted all those premises to Sir James Hales, one of the justices of the common pleas, to hold in capite, (fn. 8) and he, in the beginning of king Edward VI.'s reign, passed them away to Peter Heyman, esq. one of the gentlemen of that prince's bedchamber who seems to have had a new grant of them from the crown, in the 2d year of that reign. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Ralph Heyman, esq. of Sellindge, whose descendant Sir Peter Heyman, bart. alienated the manor of Clavetigh to Sir Edward Honywood, of Evington, created a baronet in 1660, in whose descendants this manor has continued down to Sir John Honywood, bart. of Evington, who is the present possessor of it.
Jonas Warley, D. D. gave by will in 1722, 50l. to be put out on good security, the produce to be given yearly in bread on every Sunday in the year, after divine service, to six poor widows, to each of them a two-penny loaf. The money is now vested in the vicar and churchwardens, and the produce of it being no more than 2l. 5s. per annum, only a three-halfpenny loaf is given to each widow.
Sir John Williams, by will in 1725, founded A CHARITY SCHOOL in this parish for six poor boys, legal inhabitants, and born in this parish, to be taught reading, writing, and accounts, to be cloathed once in two years; and one such boy to be bound out apprentice, as often as money sufficient could be raised for that use. The minister, churchwardens, and overseers to be trustees, who have power to nominate others to assist them in the management of it. The master has a house to live in, and the lands given to it are let by the trustees.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is large and handsome, consisting of three isles, the middle one having an upper range of windows, and one chancel, having a tower steeple, with a spire shast on it, at the west end, in which are eight bells, a clock, and chimes. Within the altar-rails is a memorial for John Somner, gent. son of the learned William Somner, of Canterbury, obt. 1695; arms, Ermine, a chevron voided. In the chancel a brass plate for Michael Pyx, of Folkestone, mayor and once high bailisf to Yarmouth, obt. 1601. Another for Nicholas Moore, gent. of Bettenham, in Cranbrooke; he died at Wingmer in 1577. In the middle isle a memorial for Captain William Symons, obt. 1674; arms, Parted per pale, and fess, three trefoils slipt. A brass plate for John Hill, dean and vicar of Eleham, obt. 1730. In this church was a lamp burning, called the light of Wyngmer, given before the year 1468, probably by one of the owners of that manor.
The church of Eleham was given by archbishop Boniface, lord of the manor of Eleham, and patron of this church appendant to it, at the instance of Walter de Merton, then canon of St. Paul's, and afterwards bishop of Rochester, to the college founded by the latter in 1263, at Maldon, in Surry. (fn. 9) After which the archbishop, in 1268, appropriated this church to the college, whenever it should become vacant by the death or cession of the rector of it, saving a reasonable vicarage of thirty marcs, to be endowed by him in it, to which the warden of the college should present to him and his successors, a fit vicar, as often as it should be vacant, to be nominated to the warden by the archbishop; otherwise the archbishop and his successors should freely from thence dispose of the vicarage for that turn. (fn. 10)
The year before this, Walter de Merton had begun a house in Oxford, whither some of the scholars were from time to time to resort for the advancement of their studies, to which the whole society of Maldon was, within a few years afterwards, removed, and both societies united at Oxford, under the name of the warden and fellows of Merton college. This portion of thirty marcs, which was a stated salary, and not tithes, &c. to that amount, was continued by a subsequent composition or decree of archbishop Warham, in 1532; but in 1559, the college, of their own accord, agreed to let the vicarial tithes, &c. to Thomas Carden, then vicar, at an easy rent, upon his discharging the college from the before-mentioned portion of thirty marcs: and this lease, with the like condition, has been renewed to every subsequent vicar ever since; and as an addition to their income, the vicars have for some time had another lease, of some wood grounds here, from the college. (fn. 11)
The appropriation or parsonage of this church is now held by lease from the warden and fellows, by the Rev. John Kenward Shaw Brooke, of Town-Malling. The archbishop nominates a clerk to the vicarage of it, whom the warden and fellows above-mentioned present to him for institution.
This vicarage is valued in the king's books at twenty pounds, (being the original endowment of thirty marcs), and the yearly tenths at two pounds, the clear yearly certified value of it being 59l. 15s. 2d. In 1640 it was valued at one hundred pounds per annum. Communicants six hundred. It is now of about the yearly value of one hundred and fifty pounds.
All the lands in this parish pay tithes to the rector or vicar, excepting Parkgate farm, Farthingsole farm, and Eleham-park wood, all belonging to the lord of Eleham manor, which claim a modus in lieu of tithes, of twenty shillings yearly paid to the vicar. The manor farm of Clavertigh, belonging to Sir John Honywood, bart and a parcel of lands called Mount Bottom, belonging to the Rev. Mr. Thomas Tournay, of Dover, claim a like modus in lieu of tithes.
Church of Eleham.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Warden and fellows of Merton college, Oxford.||Richard Mathew, A. M. March 20, 1589, obt. 1601.|
|Zach. Evans, A. M. May 16, 1601. resigned 1607.|
|John Fitche, S. T. P. March 19, 1607, obt. 1612.|
|James Ellye, A. M. Sept. 11, 1612, resigned 1613.|
|Thomas Allen, A. M. Feb. 18, 1613, obt. 1636. (fn. 12)|
|John Woodcock, A. M. Feb. 1, 1636, sequestered 1643. (fn. 13)|
|Hen. Hannington, obt. 1691. (fn. 14)|
|John Lipps, A. M. Nov. 17, 1691, resigned 1692.|
|William Hunt, A. M. 1692, resigned 1707. (fn. 15)|
|Robert Harrison, A. M. Oct. 1, 1707, resigned 1711.|
|John Hill, A. B. Nov. 3, 1711 obt, Feb. 1731.|
|Philip Bearcroft, S. T. P. Oct. 20, 1731, obt. 1761. (fn. 16)|
|Thomas Thompson, A. M. Dec. 1, 1761, obt. 1773. (fn. 17)|
|Edward Fulham, A. M. Dec. 13, 1773, resigned 1777.|
|William Cornwallis, A. M. Mar. 1778, the present vicar. (fn. 18)|